21 Apr, 2021

Liberals united in condemnation for Non-paper on Western Balkans

ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen has condemned the “Non-paper on Western Balkans” that has emerged and been published by Slovenian media outlets in which the idea of redrawing international borders in the region was entertained.

In a tweet posted on 16 April, he expressed his shock at the “irresponsible suggestions to redraw map of the W Balkans” noting that it risks “stability, peace and EU integration”. He also called on Slovenia’s Prime Minister Janez Janša – whose country assumes the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 July – to “stop his divisive policies” and call on all coalition partners in Slovenia to “distance themselves from these divisive plans immediately!”

ALDE Party Vice President, Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP, said: “The released non-paper for the Western Balkans is extremely dangerous. It will undermine stability and peace of the region, instead of deepening the European integration.”

“Slovenian Prime Minister Janša’s policy towards the region is irresponsible and the change of borders of internationally-recognised territories will open old wounds from the bloody conflicts in the Balkans,” he continued. “We in ALDE Party stand firm against this puzzle game and insist that the best way to overcome the differences between the countries of the Western Balkans is through their full membership in the European Union, where they will be all united in a common border.”

The Liberal South East European Network (LIBSEEN) of liberal parties and think tanks in the region, convened an emergency meeting and also held a press conference featuring representatives of ALDE Party members parties in Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia and Slovenia.

Photo credit: Alexis Haulot, European Parliament 2021.

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